Americans are spending more at bars and restaurants than grocery stores for the first time in history
In January, Americans spent more at bars and restaurants than at grocery stores.
This chart, which we first saw from economist Mark Perry, shows that in January, spending at bars at restaurants totaled $50,475,000,000 against $50,466,000,000 spent at grocery stores.
Earlier in February, we highlighted this chart, which showed that spending at restaurants and bars rose 11.3% over the prior year, boosted by an increase in consumer confidence as gas prices crashed in the second half of 2014.
A serious sign of strength in discretionary spending from American consumers.
China’s central bank has said it no longer sees any benefit in increasing its $3.66 trillion foreign currency reserves – already the world’s largest. China will cap its purchases of US dollars in an effort to limit the depreciation of the yuan.
“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Bloomberg quoted Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank as saying Tuesday.
Decreasing the influence of the dollar and other currencies is a step closer to reaching China’s 2015 goal to “float” its currency and according to the People’s Bank of China will help the everyday Chinese citizen.
Between July and September 2013 China’s increased its foreign – currency holdings by $166 billion, boosting it to the world’s highest of $3.66 trillion. This is also more that the Read more…
Peak Civilization: MIT Research Team Predicts Global Economic Collapse and Precipitous Population Decline
Researchers at one of the world’s leading think tanks have developed a computing model that predicts serious implications for our way of life as a result of our incessant need to consume resources like oil, food, and fresh water. According to a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the breaking point will come no later than 2030, and when it does, we can expect a paradigm shift unlike any we have seen before in human history – one that will not only collapse the economies of the world, but will cause food and energy production to decrease so significantly that it will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in the process.
The recent study, completed on behalf of The Club of Rome, an organization which issued it’s own findings on ‘peak everything’ back in the 1970′s in a controversial environmental report dubbed The Limits to Growth (video), takes into account the relations between various global Read more…
Food prices hit record highs in February 2011 and stoked protests connected to the Arab Spring wave of civil unrest in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. They then receded, but started to grow again in January.
The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 215,9 points in March, up from a revised 215,4 points in February, FAO data showed.
Its cereal price index averaged 227 points in March, up from February, with maize prices showing gains, supported by low inventories and a strong soybean market, the FAO said.
“You can see prices in the near term rising even further,” FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian said before the index update.
The FAO also confirmed its earlier forecast for world wheat output to fall 1,4% from Read more…
S&P dropped Greece’s rating from CC, two levels above default, after the government added clauses to its debt designed to mop up investors unwilling to take part in the exchange, the New York-based company said in a statement Monday.
The downgrade follows a reduction last week by Fitch Ratings to C, while Moody’s Investors Service has said it will cut the nation to its lowest rating. Greece published the formal offer document last week for its agreement to exchange bonds for new securities, with investors taking a Read more…
In the last 5 years China’s military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean have grown at an unprecedented rate. Beijing now regularly hosts officers from Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay in its military academies, has expanded arms sales and technology transfers to countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela, and in October last year even sent a navy ship to the Caribbean.
Is China—now Brazil and Chile’s number-one trade partner—buttressing its economic interests in the Western Hemisphere with military ties and alliances? Is this the Middle Kingdom’s equivalent of President Barack Obama’s Pacific pivot to balance China’s saber rattling in Asia?
There’s no doubt that China’s torrid economic growth rate and its arrival as an emerging—if not already emerged—global economic superpower has shifted the international system and brought a more muscular Chinese foreign policy. That policy—part of what the Chinese labeled its “Going Out” strategy—has come with a growing Chinese diplomatic, economic and even military presence in many of its closest trade partners. Given China’s need for raw materials to feed its manufacturing growth and urbanization—gobbling up everything from iron, to oil, to soybeans and frozen chicken—the country’s rise has been felt most obviously (at times with alarm) in Read more…
Tune into CNBC or click onto any of the dozens of mainstream financial news sites, and you’ll find an endless array of opinions on the latest wiggle in equity, bond and commodities markets. As often as not, you’ll find those opinions nestled side by side with authoritative analysis on the outlook for the economy, complete with the author’s carefully studied judgment on the best way forward.
Lost in all the noise, however, is any recognition that the US monetary system – and by extension, that of much of the developed world – may very well be on the verge of collapse. Falling back on metaphor, while the world’s many financial experts and economists sit around arguing about the direction of the ship of state, most are missing the point that the ship has already hit an iceberg and is taking on water fast.
Yet if you were to raise your hand to ask 99% of the Read more…